By HERB KEINON AND BENJAMIN WEINTHAL IN BERLIN
New German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle arrived in Israel Monday evening for his maiden visit in his new position, amid increasingly strident statements coming from Berlin over construction in east Jerusalem and the settlements.
Westerwelle met Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu soon after his arrival, and raised the issues of settlement construction and the approved housing units in Gilo.
Netanyahu, according to officials in his office, said Israel was not going to build any new settlements or expropriate any new land to expand existing settlements, and was willing to put restraints on new housing starts in the West Bank.
Regarding Gilo, the prime minister told his visitor that the neighborhood was just "three to four minutes from the Knesset," not a settlement, 40-years-old and an integral part of the capital.